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Providing evidence to improve practice

Action: Add lime to reduce acidity and/or increase fertility Peatland Conservation

Key messages

Read our guidance on Key messages before continuing

  • One study evaluated the effects of liming (without planting) on peatland vegetation. The study was in a fen meadowN.B. Liming is considered in different contexts here and here.
  • Vegetation structure (1 study): One replicated, controlled study in a fen meadow in the Netherlands found that liming increased overall vegetation biomass (mostly grass).

Supporting evidence from individual studies


A replicated, controlled study in 1994 in a degraded fen meadow in the Netherlands (van Duren et al. 1998) found that limed plots contained more plant biomass after three months than unlimed plots. This was true in plots that had previously been stripped of topsoil (limed: 40; unlimed: 20 g/m2 biomass) and plots that had not been stripped (limed: 250; unlimed: 200 g/m2 biomass). The biomass was mostly established, dominant, velvety bentgrass Agrostis canina (precise contribution not reported). In May 1994, ten 1 m2 plots in a degraded, historically drained fen meadow were limed (approximately 500 g/m2). Ten additional plots were not limed. Five limed and five unlimed plots had been previously stripped of topsoil. In August 1994, above-ground vegetation was harvested in one 60 x 60 cm quadrat/plot, then dried and weighed.

Referenced papers

Please cite as:

Taylor N.G., Grillas P. & Sutherland W.J. (2019) Peatland Conservation. Pages 375-438 in: W.J. Sutherland, L.V. Dicks, N. Ockendon, S.O. Petrovan & R.K. Smith (eds) What Works in Conservation 2019. Open Book Publishers, Cambridge, UK.